Is Big Tech at Odds with Legal Weed?

Is Big Tech at Odds with Legal Weed?

Companies like Google and PayPal often grab headlines for their forward-thinking innovations and technology. But when it comes to weed, the big guys aren’t as friendly as you might expect.

Big tech companies have a reputation for pioneering new technologies and evolving the ways we lead our everyday lives. Given how engrained technology is at home, work, or play, it can sometimes be easy to forget that these companies have a pretty significant influence over what we do or don’t see.

In the case of legal weed, heavy tech hitters Google and PayPal have taken a relatively unexpected stance — they have become more strict on companies selling ancillary pot products, such as pipes, vaporizers, and bongs.

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

While at face value, it may seem like Google and PayPal are cracking down on pot-related products specifically, these restrictions are actually the byproduct of policies intended to limit underage access to harmful content. Based on these policies, Google has made it almost impossible for vape, bong, and pipe companies to advertise through their AdWords service, while PayPal has brought e-commerce to a screeching halt.

For online retailers, or smaller brick and mortar retailers with online presences, finding ways to advertise products can mean success or failure. Right now, many of these companies are looking to social media to grow their customer bases.

Looking Ahead

The cannabis industry will continue to boom with expected profits reaching $57 billion by 2027. With the amount of money projected to roll in, it will be interesting to see if the big tech companies continue their hard-line stance on cannabis-related products. After all, more lenient guidelines for these goods could represent significant revenue opportunities.

One thing is for certain: Only time will tell how these policies will adapt to the growing legal weed industry. Just as we have seen on a local level, recreational cannabis has caused both businesses and government organizations to rethink how they handle weed. And big tech won’t be any different.